problem with 2 zones going on at same time

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by dfrank, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Seems he already tried that. :)
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,054

    Ahh. Since I didn't read that turning on zone 5 made zone 3 operate, too, I was thinking maybe a controller problem, although most solid-state controller problems have the thing just dying, instead of acting up.
  3. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Controller problems are weird. I think I've mentioned before that we encountered an Irritrol MC Plus problem on six of our sites shortly after Toro bought that company. Seems they decided to skimp on the amount of solder they used on the back of the terminal boards. This allowed a connection pin to break loose and float freely within the solder. We ended up having to move the affected zones' control wires to different spots on the terminal board thus creating blank stations. Sometimes a connection would be made and other times no connection would occur. This meant that sometimes a zone would fire while other times it would not.

    We discovered the problem cause when I was standing at a controller that used the MV to connect to a booster pump and accidently wiggled the wire. My partner got ahold of me on the radio and indicated that the booster was firing on and off as I wiggled the wire. We removed the terminal board and noted the obvious lack of solder and the floating pin by using a 20X loop. We took the board out and added solder to each pin which took care of the problem. We then examined all our problematic controllers and added solder which solved their problems.

    Of course I reported the problem to Irritrol/Toro and they denied any problems. However, as we bought new controllers after this we noted that the solder had been beefed up again as it was prior to Toro's involvement.
  4. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    You mean you changed the programming or the whole controller. If you haven't changed the entire controller then I'd start there by disconnecting the wires off of zones 3 and 5 and then manually turn on one of those zones. You obviously should only have voltage going to the one you've turned on, not the other one. But... if you've replace the controller, then it surely must be downstream.
  5. dfrank

    dfrank LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Yes i changed the entire controller.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Well then it's wired up wrong dear.
  7. Scott's

    Scott's LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Thats correct,,, until the wiring at a junction has been messed with, This fellow I went behind re-wired the system while being on crack. zones 1 and 2 came on together all the time. Since the wiring had been re arranged thats all that would come on,,,still worth a shot to check it, I have seen it happen.
  8. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    14 gauge wire? That is the same gauge as used with 120volt/15amp inside the house wiring for outlets and lights! Bet it's kinda pricey these days.
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    14 Gauge UF is still commonly used in irrigation,and a lot of LA spec it out on commercial jobs.

    Personally, 18 guage Multistrand will work in 99.9% of the situations, and is so much quicker and easier to use.
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    We buy it by the 2500' roll. It was running us 4 cents a foot last time I purchased it but bet it's doubled by the time I buy again. :)

    The gophers and squirrels in our area would chew through it easily thinking it was a spaghetti dinner. Most of our gopher chews are in the valve boxes and it's the smaller gauge solenoid wire they chew, not the 14 gauge. :hammerhead:

Share This Page